Hurricane Matthew Alert: How Jacksonville Residents Can Prepare


Florida residents will have to get ready for another hurricane. Hurricane Matthew will hit communities in eastern Florida, including Jacksonville, by the end of the week, which could result in flooding, power outages and damaging winds. Matthew has strengthened to a category-4 hurricane, according to reports by CNN, and will make landfall late night on Thursday, Oct. 6 or early morning on Friday, Oct. 7.

Gov. Rick Scott urged Floridians during a press conference on Oct. 5 to prepare for a direct hit, according to “If Matthew directly impacts Florida, there will be massive destruction that we haven’t seen in years,” he said.

“Extremely dangerous and life-threatening winds is possible. Failure to adequately shelter may result in serious injury, loss of life or immense human suffering,” reported The National Weather Service of Melbourne early Thursday, Oct. 6.

The threat of Hurricane Matthew is a serious concern for residents of Jacksonville. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has issued an evacuation order for residents in Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach. He has also ordered an evacuation for zones that are prone to floods.

Here are a few ways that Jacksonville residents can prepare for Matthew’s landfall:

Buy Food and Water in Bulk

You should buy non-perishable foods from your grocery store, such as ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables. You could also buy high energy foods like granola bars and crackers. Families should maintain at least 3-7 days of food for each member of the family, according to the United States Coast Guard.

Families should also buy unbreakable containers of water with at least one gallon per person. The stress from the hurricane may double this amount, so you should buy additional water. Parents should also consider additional water for mixing baby formula for children or for pets. You should store large containers of water to be used for bathing, flushing toilets and cleaning.

Create a “Go Bag” and First-Aid Kit

Families should create an emergency kit or “Go Bag” for when the hurricane hits. You could make a list of all the essentials you may need, if you have to leave your home quickly. FEMA recommends when making your list that you consider the Five Ps of Evacuation: people, prescriptions, papers, personal needs, and priceless items.

A First-Aid kit should also be assembled with one for your home and one for your car, according to the USCG. It should contain bandages, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, non-latex gloves, and cold packs. You should also stock up on battery-powered flashlights and have extra batteries on hand. Be sure to also pack backup battery power for mobile devices.

Know Your Evacuation Procedures

You should know your evacuation zone in Jacksonville and the closest posted evacuation route to your home. Be sure to also compile a list of nearby escape routes in case roads are blocked, according to FEMA. Everyone in your family should know and understand the evacuation plan, especially when leaving quickly. You should also have a plan on how to evacuate people with disabilities or pets.

If you plan to evacuate by car, you should make sure that your car is fueled and in good condition, to leave your area quickly. If you decide to go to a shelter after evacuating, there are several currently open general and special needs shelters in the Jacksonville area. There are also pet-friendly shelters so you can keep your pets safe from harm during the hurricane.

Protect Your Home

If you decide to stay in your home during the hurricane, you should fortify your home to weather the storm. You should inspect your roof and add additional truss bracings to it to make the roof much stronger, according to FEMA. You should cover all windows and openings with hardened protections, including hurricane shutters and plywood, according to the USCG. You should close all interior doors and brace outside doors.

Families should establish a safe room in their home for everyone to gather when the hurricane hits.

Take Photos of Your Property

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you should take steps to protect your property from a hurricane’s damage. Among the steps to take is to take wide-angle photos of your home and other parts of your party. This includes areas such as the interior and exterior of your home, garage, and cars on your property. This will help you have evidence of your property’s condition before the storm if you need to file a claim with the insurance company.

What To Do If Your Insurance Company Doesn’t Cover Your Home Damage?

Even after taking steps to protect your home and paying a monthly premium, an insurance company could still deny your claim. You do not have to settle for that. Learn more on our hurricane insurance dispute page, which offers information on what your insurance company should be covering and what our attorneys can do for you. If you are ready to file a claim, contact us today for a free, no-risk case evaluation.